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Pre-conditions for assistance

This content applies to England & Wales

Things a local authority must do before providing assistance to an individual.

Before the local authority provides assistance to any person it must do all of the following:

  • give the person a written statement confirming the terms and conditions (if any) under which it will provide her/him with assistance[1]
  • satisfy itself that the person has had appropriate advice and information about any financial or other obligations that s/he will have to enter into, as a result of the provision of assistance by the local authority[2]
  • consider whether the person will be able to repay or contribute towards any assistance before imposing any condition requiring her/him to do so,[3] for example where the financial circumstances of the person are such that s/he will not be able to repay a loan, the local authority must not offer her/him assistance in the form of a loan; it may instead consider offering her/him a means-tested grant, to which the person can contribute
  • obtain the consent of the owner of the accommodation before carrying out any works on it[4]
  • obtain the consent of everyone who is likely to be affected, if it decides to vary any works that it has already approved[5]
  • obtain the consent of any person to whom assistance is being provided, before varying or revoking any condition attached to the assistance. A person can also apply to the local authority to ask it to vary or revoke a condition attached to the assistance.[6]

Local authorities should state, within their housing renewal policies, what preliminary or ancillary fees and charges associated with the provision of assistance will be paid as part of that assistance. It might include fees charged by in-house grant agency services, private architects and surveyors or home improvement agencies. It will be up to local authorities to determine this.[7]

[1] article 3(5)(a) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[2] article 3(5)(b) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[3] article 3(4) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[4] article 5(1) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[5] article 5(6) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[6] article 5(7) Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002 SI 2002/1860.

[7] Housing renewal guidance: consultation paper, ODPM, June 2002.

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